MA of my 8 year old son...

MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby jimgrossman » Mon Apr 25, 2011 7:47 pm

Any and all comments, critiques and suggestions welcome, especially since it's me reading them, not him. More pix and series here http://pjgrossman.phanfare.com/5093795

Thanks so much!

Jim


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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby HeluvaSkier » Mon Apr 25, 2011 9:25 pm

I stand by my original MA that I gave to you on Epic, although I'm a bit disappointed that his skiing doesn't show any work on what I suggested back at the beginning of March - in fact it has moved in the opposite direction of what I suggested.

HeluvaSkier wrote:Narrow the stance up, work on foot tipping instead of throwing the body into the center of the turn, and move away from the push-off to transition and you'll have yourself even more of a ripping skier than you already do.


HeluvaSkier wrote:[More outside ski pressure] might turn into a result or byproduct of the above, but I wouldn't focus on it... instead train to allow for it. Kids can take instructions very literally and "more outside ski pressure" to an eight-year-old may turn into stomping and pushing on the outside ski even more - opposite of what you'd really be aiming for in their skiing. Narrowing the stance for this little guy will solve a lot because it will take away a lot of the wedge residuals that he is still relying on.


Your kid is a good skier for an 8 year old, but what you have is the result you get when you take a wedge-taught skier and teach them to put one ski on edge. For all practical purposes he is still skiing in a wedge. If you want to do him an actual favor that is going to pay off later on in his skiing career, teach him to ski with his feet - take away the wedge-crutch that he is relying on and holding him back. Right now, there is no sign of balancing on a tipped edge or initiating turns with his feet and ankles. In many cases the outside ski is only acting as an outrigger, with the inside ski doing most of the real work accept for brief points in the bottom of the turn. He will not always "get away" with skiing like he is right now. Teach him to ski with his feet and tip his skis, narrow his stance, and teach him to flex to release his turns. Get rid of the hip dumping, the exaggerated edge angles, and the up move to release [if his coach does not see these things as issues, find him a new coach]. Then you'll be giving him skiing movements that will serve him well into his skiing future regardless of what he decides to pursue.
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby jepoupatout » Tue Apr 26, 2011 4:08 am

Hi Heluva, i am not an expert but for me it doesn't look as Hip dumping and i see a lot of tipping, extreme CA with good placement of the pelvis. I would like to be able to do aft of these . This boy was carving like a pro, very flexible, upper body very stable and no rotation. I don't think his feet are too wide it is the result of the the pitch and extreme carving. In the transition his feet close together and wider after it. Can we say that his kind of turn are more like Power release turn but with more extreme CA?

Nice job
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby midwif » Tue Apr 26, 2011 7:45 am

I wish I could ski that well.
But, I agree with Heluva that the turn shown here has less flexing and more of an up movement.
which does result in a small wedge.

I love the smile on his face.
BUT!!! If he falls with his tongue still gripped between his lips, he may have half the tongue he was born with.

Seriously, I would encourage him to change that habit.

Lynn
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby kirtland » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:37 am

I love it, this kid is having more fun, than a young man should. And with skills that I rarely see in kids or adults.
I just looked through all the pictures that you posted here, http://pjgrossman.phanfare.com/5093795 which show much more than the few frames you posted pictures of and only found one frame that showed the outside foot tipped more than the inside foot, to indicate any hint of a possible wedging at initiation. (I don't have the time to try to figure out how , if it is possible to, post the example frames for what I am saying here, so I encourage others to look through all the frames.) In fact I see the inside ski tipped more than the outside ski in many frames. I see a Von Gruenigan turn in one sequence which is certainly not a wedge move. I see him reaching with his outside arm and tilting his head to the outside indicating that he has a sense for staying out over the outside ski and is is striving to be over his outside ski and I generally see more snow coming off his outside ski than the inside ski demonstrating that it is pressured. I see the tip of the ski arcing through the turn until the very end, demonstrating he know how to stay forward/ keep his stance foot under him. I see him working his ski through the turn on some turns, to use the energy in the ski to take him into the next turn, which is rare particularly in a someone this young.
I would encourage him to focus on making some changes at the transition between turns and initiation. Right now his stance is wide at the transition and he is extending to begin the turn. I see (not in the photos posted, but in the pictures http://pjgrossman.phanfare.com/5093795) very little horizontal separation between his feet in the middle of the turn, just vertical separation, as it should be, but when he finishes the turn, he does not begin releasing/flexing his outside ski first to let it come back up next to his old inside foot/new outside foot. (it is demonstrated and exaggerated in the Power Release in the Essentials Book). By doing this it will help him to flex to initiate the turn, his stance will narrow at the transition and he will be able to tip more easily and sooner in the turn. It will also allow him to counter earlier and engage the skis earlier in the turn.
I think he is tipping, but I can't see what is happening inside the boot. To confirm he knows what tipping is and is doing it, make a tipping Board, have him stand in the middle of the board and have him, pronate and supinate his foot. (Tip to big toe edge and little toe edge from the ankle down). The when he is skiing, (or Harb carvers or Roller Blades) have him play on the green runs, by skiing in the fall line, with his feet close together ( no more than hip width), tip inside foot first, transfer weight to outside ski, tip outside foot. Trying to do it just at the ankle (pressing the ankle against the inside of the boot). Then he can play with flexing his inside leg more while tipping more, pulling it vertically away from the stance foot, then flexing the stance leg, letting the feet come back together both vertically and horizontally and tipping and flexing the other direction.
So look at "the Power Release" and "Flexing", for him to improve even more. And confirm that he understands tipping.
Have fun. Kirt
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby h.harb » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:15 am

His stance is artificial, far to wide for his body size and width. He's losing precious balance and "clean" carving with his skis in this stance width. The forces with this stance are not going through his out side leg, his weight is too far inside on the inside ski. His hips are too far back due to this stance. Wide stances make your hips ride low and squatty. Not good! Get him out of this as soon as possible or as he grows, he'll become dependent on this low hip.

He is narrowing up his stance more in transition, which is helping his tipping. In the arc, the out side knee should be able to contact the inside ski boot. He's far off this stance.


Th wide stance also makes his outside leg too stiff and locked. This doesn't allow him to make or use pressure control movements, (which includes tipping of the ankle and foot), with leg bending adjustments in the arc. This is a dangerous position and can really cause horrific falls as he gets bigger and older.
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby h.harb » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:20 am

Greg got the MA right on the spot.

I would not heed this analysis or advice in this post. Nice try. In fact, you have many things incorrect, he's not carving like a pro in this photos.
Hi Heluva, i am not an expert but for me it doesn't look as Hip dumping and i see a lot of tipping, extreme CA with good placement of the pelvis. I would like to be able to do aft of these . This boy was carving like a pro, very flexible, upper body very stable and no rotation. I don't think his feet are too wide it is the result of the the pitch and extreme carving. In the transition his feet close together and wider after it. Can we say that his kind of turn are more like Power release turn but with more extreme CA?

Nice job
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby h.harb » Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:43 am

This is a functional 8 year old and the skiing here is totally different, it's more difficult snow as well. The forces are running through his outside leg, his hips are up and forward, and his inside foot is back. This is carving like a pro.

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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby jimgrossman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:41 pm

HeluvaSkier wrote:Narrow the stance up, work on foot tipping instead of throwing the body into the center of the turn, and move away from the push-off to transition and you'll have yourself even more of a ripping skier than you already do.


Some of what he has been working on reflects a limitation in his primary teacher; me. Even though I've been teaching for the last 20 years, I haven't actively raced, nor coached for close to the last 15 years. Two years ago my son who up until that time was skiing Imagebeautiful square, parallel shin skiing, started A-framing. I couldn't understand where it came from and why he was doing it and for the first time started trying to tell him how, or how not, to ski rather than just creating the environment and situation where he would ski well. It wasn't until the end of the year when I saw this picture of us Image that I realized I had to completely change my skiing and my understanding of it, if I wanted to help my son learn and progress until the point where I could hand him off to more able and adept hands (even though he has been on what I hope is one of the top programs in the nation, the Sun Valley Ski Team, for the last two years, effective, efficient and productive coaching in even the best programs, at least on this side of the Atlantic doesn't really seem to begin until J4 at earliest... Let me know if I'm mistaken here, and where and when it is different, both here and abroad, I'm very interested, including and especially for spring/summer/fall camps!)

It hasn't been easy and I'm far from there, but I feel like I've made progress. I got back into racing and as importantly back on to racing skis after at least a half of decade skiing only on my beloved one quiver ski, the Metrons. Teaching local master's race clinic much more actively, which as you know forces you to know, understand and distill when you are feeling and doing while skiing. And trying to learn and read and study and understand modern technique, how it works and why and how to best create situations where people can learn it for themselves. From your comments and critiques I can see I still have a ways to go... Thanks!

I don't fully understand "foot tipping." I've always coveted skiing with my ankles like Tamara, but never really been that good at it or understood effectively how to do it. Is this the same? I have a tough time really relating to parts of my body below my waist while skiing and as a result default to trying to create the right situation with the head, eyes, hands and upper body, that will result in the feet, ankles, knees and hips doing the right thing. I have a tough time with, but this does not mean I don't try and work on it... Tipping and retracting my inside foot and/or rolling my inside knee to the inside has been a focus of changing my skiing from former "A-frame" 80s style. I work with Buey on this a lot, both by reminding him to "roll the inside knee" especially at the beginning of the turn and to "get the skis on edge as much as possible before 'turning.'" How can I say this better? Or create situations for him to discover and/or work on this for himself?

Obviously, my former infatuation with throwing the body down the hill and into the center of the turn has still not gone away. Explain more clearly the evils of this, so I can more fully expunge it from my skiing/teaching dna... I also don't understand "move away from the push-off to transition" but I'm guessing as I more closely read through the rest of your and others comments it will become more clear...

What's interesting is that he has not mimicked and copied the one area where I err too far on the continuum. I have always been criticized for skiing with too narrow of a stance and have worked on this for a long, long time. I don't think my preoccupation with this has crossed over on how I talk/teach to my son. Indeed when I saw him skiing like this Image in the middle of the season, I talked with him about skiing more 'compact.' And after your comments earlier, we worked on drills skiing with our feet and knees together (pushing to the extreme, so that hopefully the pendulum would move more to the middle.) From the recent pictures I feel like it has, at least slightly, but I can definitely see him getting too wide and stuck and off balance on the inside like here. Image Again any thoughts, ideas or suggestions on how to help him (and me) better understand this would be very much appreciated. And even better drills or situations so he can discover it himself.

I've written and asked a lot here so far and I've only addressed you're first, short paragraph. I think it might be better to stop and post just this now and really read through the rest of your and others comments and some of the other postings so I can better understand what I'm saying and asking. It's a bummer that they shut down the hill with so much good snow up there, but it does give me some time to reflect and learn rather than just go and react. Any 'directed' readings or post would be very much appreciated. Thanks so much for helping me question and better understand and hopefully more effectively help my son to learn and enjoy our awesome sport!

Jim


HeluvaSkier wrote:[More outside ski pressure] might turn into a result or byproduct of the above, but I wouldn't focus on it... instead train to allow for it. Kids can take instructions very literally and "more outside ski pressure" to an eight-year-old may turn into stomping and pushing on the outside ski even more - opposite of what you'd really be aiming for in their skiing. Narrowing the stance for this little guy will solve a lot because it will take away a lot of the wedge residuals that he is still relying on.


HeluvaSkier wrote:Your kid is a good skier for an 8 year old, but what you have is the result you get when you take a wedge-taught skier and teach them to put one ski on edge. For all practical purposes he is still skiing in a wedge. If you want to do him an actual favor that is going to pay off later on in his skiing career, teach him to ski with his feet - take away the wedge-crutch that he is relying on and holding him back. Right now, there is no sign of balancing on a tipped edge or initiating turns with his feet and ankles. In many cases the outside ski is only acting as an outrigger, with the inside ski doing most of the real work accept for brief points in the bottom of the turn. He will not always "get away" with skiing like he is right now. Teach him to ski with his feet and tip his skis, narrow his stance, and teach him to flex to release his turns. Get rid of the hip dumping, the exaggerated edge angles, and the up move to release [if his coach does not see these things as issues, find him a new coach]. Then you'll be giving him skiing movements that will serve him well into his skiing future regardless of what he decides to pursue.
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby jimgrossman » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:05 pm

Thanks so much to everyone for the input! Like I said above, I think I need to take some time and better understand what I am seeing, feeling, saying and asking, so that I best utilize this great resource and everybody on here's time, energy and expertise. Guidance to any postings or resources that can help speed me in this process are very much appreciated! Jim
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby h.harb » Tue Apr 26, 2011 1:54 pm

It's actually pretty easy, it's all spelled out in the "Essentails" book.
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby ToddW » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:06 pm

Any 'directed' readings or post would be very much appreciated.


For eye opening summer reading, buy Harald's book "Essentials of Skiing." The 3 DVD Essentials collection available from Harb Ski Systems contains useful exercises to focus on each of the essentials. More importantly, it has lots of video showing high level skiing centered around these essentials to help make visible the essential movements and the external cues you can use to validate them. If your son sees these DVDs and decides he wants to ski like Harald does, then the sky's the limit. The technique in those DVDs and the Essentials book will take him a very long way.
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby HeluvaSkier » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:22 pm

Jim,
Thanks for taking the time to write such a detailed response. You asked a lot of good questions and provided some helpful insight. First-off if you're serious about changing your skiing, I recommend a copy of the Essentials of Skiing - learn it, understand it, never discount it - if you come across something in skiing or racing that doesn't fit within the movements outlined in that book - it is likely incorrect. If you're here you probably already know a bit about Harald - my advice is to pay careful attention to what he writes. If you really want to take your coaching to the next level, have a look at the PMTS Instructor Manual.

That said, here is a bit of what most PMTS folks look at (or should look at) when doing an MA:

Max_501 wrote:Things to consider for MA -

Does the release start by flexing the outside leg?
Does LTE tipping lead engagement to the new turn?
Are the feet pulled back at transition?
Is the inside foot held back throughout the turn?
Is there enough CB and CA and is the timing right?
Strong inside arm?
Is the pelvis included in the CB/CA movement?
Is the inside leg flexed as the turn progresses?
Does the outside leg extend naturally (no pushing) as the turn progresses?
Does LTE tipping continue throughout the turn?
Is there a pole touch and how is the movement and timing?
Alignment - watch the skis and knees carefully - does anything look like it needs go be tipped in or out?


IMO, it is never too early to start coaching correct movements. If you do it right from the beginning - there is nothing to unlearn [talk to Harald about camp/clinic schedules]. I'm glad you posted the photo of you skiing next to your son. That is exactly what I expected to see. He's copying how you ski. In the photo you've provided, the outside ski is simply an outrigger. even though it is at a high edge angle, it is doing virtually nothing for either of you. All the support is coming from the inside foot and leg, which still resides right under your body. This is caused by throwing your body down the hill. If your body is moving away from your skis, you are pulling pressure off the ski that could be being used for bending the ski into an arc. The ski finally hooks up after it moves through the fall line, but that is too late - half of your turn is already over - and at the highest levels of the sport the skiers are already thinking "release!" by the time they hit the fall line. By the time the bottom of the turn arrives you and your son are both seated on the inside ski, requiring you to "stand up" out of your turn because you have no way of releasing the turn from the position you're in without standing up.

Foot tipping and balance is the most important part of PMTS as it is the mechanism for turning (as opposed to twisting the feet, or leaning the upper body into the turn). It cannot be done with a straight leg. Do this: Stand in your ski boots at a natural [comfortable, but on the narrow side] width apart with completely straight legs and without displacing your upper body - put your boots onto their BTE/LTE as if you are skiing. You will quickly find that it cannot be done without falling over or using what would become the inside leg for support. Now - try the same thing, but flex at the knees and ankles. Now it becomes very simple to roll onto a set of edges and your upper body can remain perfectly still as you will naturally counter act and counter balance from the pelvis in order to stay upright. This is foot tipping. This is how a skier engages the top of the turn [high-c].

On stance - get him skiing narrower asap - or he will never learn to balance on a tipped ski. EDIT: Where he was at in the "before" picture is actually probably close to perfect - notice the parallel legs shafts - get him back to that! Right now he is hucking his upper body into the turn to get angles, and supporting it with the inside ski, so he is never balanced on that outside ski - so the angles might be showy, but they aren't accomplishing anything. Compare your sons edge angle with that of the skier Harald posted above - you son has far bigger angles and is making a GS turn. in Harald's photo, the kid is skiing a slalom course - a much tighter turn - but his skis are working the entire time. I don't necessarily see you having a narrow stance... misaligned, yes... narrow, not necessarily. The idea is to have naturally parallel legs - in most of your son's photos his legs are far from being parallel... I suspect this comes from trying to mimic something else about others' skiing - track width (which incidentally is the complete wrong way to think about stance width). The tracks he is laying down look like an adult made them. Given that he mimics your movements, it is also safe to say he is probably mimicing your tracks as well (good visual feedback - even if it is reinforcing the wrong thing, trust me...). Work to get his legs back to only a few inches apart - making the only thing that changes while he is skiing is leg length - or as we call it - vertical separation. The horizontal separation perpendicular to his legs should rarely, if ever change. When you see a skier skiing like this while tipping their skis, it is a sign that they are balancing on a tipped edge.

Cheers,

Greg
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby h.harb » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:10 pm

Image

This photo is dynamic skiing, far superior to the others.
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Re: MA of my 8 year old son...

Postby h.harb » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:22 pm

It can be a losing battle in race programs, the weakest coaches are often with the younger kids. I think this skiing can be fixed and quickly.
And yes this happens in programs all over the country. It's common, because the coaching isn't correct. I ski with 5 of the top 8 and 9 year olds in California and they skied much like this. But it took me two camps to change their stance. By the time kids are 8 years old, they can have perfect technique if coached properly.

Every year I ski with this group, I have to refresh their memory about how to stand and what to focus on, they get it back quickly. I know it will stick as they get older because it's getting easier every season, even though they are only getting the right coaching, for a few days a season.
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